Harold E. Slocum
Harold E. Slocum, 91, of Apache Junction passed away Tuesday, July 8, 2003. Mr. Slocum, a meter repairman for a utility company, was born in Perry, Michigan. He is survived by his daughters Marguerite Voltenburg and Suzzanne Star of Michigan, 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
A "pioneer resident" of Apache Junction who coined the name "Lost Dutchman Days" for the community's annual signature celebration, died peacefully in her Mesa home last week.
Lulu Luebben died on Tuesday, July 22, at age 97. Services for her will be held Tuesday, July 29, at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Memorial Gardens, 7900 E. Main St. in Mesa.
According to her daughter, Luell Jackson, Lulu retained her affection for the community she settled in until the day she died, proudly telling people Apache Junction was her "hometown," although she was actually born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1906 to German immigrants John and Louise Trekenburg.
After raising a son and daughter as a single divorced parent, Lulu married her husband Roy in 1955 and they settled in Apache Junction in 1960. She and Roy opened the Lu-Roy Stables where they boarded horses and became very involved in the fledgling community. Lulu worked for 12 years as a receptionist and a columnist for The Apache Sentinel, a locally owned newspaper which was bought in 1983 by Independent Newspapers, Inc., a Delaware-based newspaper chain.
Lulu and Roy were involved in the Burro Derby, the precursor to the Lost Dutchman Days Celebration. Contestants were expected to drag, chase, pull or coax a cantankerous burro through a course and over a finish line. Lulu used to tell the story of the time they had 23 burros in a corral at their ranch and they all escaped. She reminisced that there were burros scattered from the Bluebird Mine to King's Ranch and that most of the men from the community turned out for "the Great Burro Hunt." One man was taking photographs and laughing. She recalled that the man quit laughing when an errant burro ate the light meter that he had left on the hood of his car.
In 1965, the Chamber of Commerce decided that the community celebration needed a more dignified name and held a contest. Lulu submitted "Lost Dutchman Days" and was honored by having a special place in the parade each year until 1994. Roy was chosen the first "Official Lost Dutchman." Sporting a white beard and leading a burro, Roy portrayed the old gent in Lost Dutchman Days activities for several years.
Roy and Lulu were also active in the founding of the P&M Trail Riders Club, an equestrian group that is still active in the Apache Junction/East Mesa area. Roy rode for years with the Pinal County Sheriff's Posse, which made many a trek into the Superstition Mountains to find and bring out lost, injured or deceased hikers and prospectors.
The founding of the Apache Junction Elks Lodge was a project they worked together on, with Lulu putting in time in the kitchen with the rest of the Elks' wives during the early years.
After Roy passed away in 1973, Lulu sold the ranch and moved into town where she maintained a home for many years. At the age of 91, after making many trips transporting her things to a Mesa residence near her daughter, she gave up driving.
Family members threw Lulu a memorable 97th Birthday Party in March of this year. She was an appreciative guest of honor, dancing and socializing with more than 140 birthday celebrants.
Recently, her son Bob died of leukemia in California. Lulu died in her sleep three days before a planned trip to attend his memorial service, leaving family members to wonder if she just didn t want to face attending services for her only son.
The people who knew her say that Lulu Luebben was an independent, adventurous woman who loved to dance, play cards and drink beer.
Her daughter said, "She did not have an easy life, but nothing ever got her down. She loved life and she was easy to love because of her happy, vibrant personality and her selfless concern for others."
Lulu's contributions to the building of the traditions of the community of Apache Junction will be remembered as long as residents and visitors alike enjoy the festivities of the annual Lost Dutchman Days. Her life stands as a memorial to the enterprising spirit of the people who built this community out of the desert.
Lloyd Clark Bentley
Lloyd Clark Bentley passed away at the Hospice of Arizona Home on July 22, 2003 at the age of 86 years and 3 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Max, Sr. and Mary Inez Bentley, wife Helen, and brother Charles Max, Jr.
He is survived by two brothers, George Donald Bentley of Omaha and Richard Allan Bentley of Las Vegas, Nevada. Lloyd is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Lloyd was born on July 19, 1917 in Omaha, Nebraska to Charles Max, Sr. and Mary Inez (Moorman) Bentley.
Lloyd was drafted into the Army in 1939. He served throughout World War II in North Africa and Italy. He was honorably discharged in 1946 holding the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 29, 11:00 a.m. at Reichmuth Funeral Home in Elkhorn, Nebraska. Burial will be at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Elkhorn. Military honors will be presented by the Fort Riley Honor Guard, Ft. Riley, Kansas. Reichmuth Funeral Home of Elkhorn, Nebraska handled arrangements.
Junice (Judy) Striemer Behrens
Junice (Judy) Striemer Behrens was born March 24, 1923, in Walcott, North Dakota to Bruno and Ruth Porter Striemer. She grew up near St. James, Minnesota, where she graduated from high school. During her lifetime she developed her interest in oil painting and was involved in helping organize the Apache Junction Art Association.
Judy married Marlo (Bud) Behrens on the Navy base in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1943. For the past ten years Judy has lived year round in Apache Junction.
She was a beloved and devoted mother to Baniata Renee Kurth (John), Terri Lynn Carlson (Kenneth), Valdon Jon Behrens (Cindy Wilson), and Kathryn Dee Fehlandt (Richard). She is survived by her brother Roger (Kay) Striemer, sister Joyce Striemer, and her children and grandchildren Paul (Krista) Kurth, Peter (Keeley) Kurth, Joseph (Andrea) Kurth, Karen Sue Kurth, Jennifer (Andrew) Carlson Zolli, Nathanael Carlson, Kristen Carlson, Hannah Carlson, Dana and Darla Fehlandt, and Jessie and Catie Wilson, and great grandchildren Christian, Niklaas, Meridian, and Carter Kurth. She will be deeply missed by all.
A memorial service was held on July 26, 2003 at King of Kings and a later committal will be held on October 4th at 10:00 a.m. in Fairmont, Minnesota. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
William T. Dee
William T. Dee, 78, of Apache Junction passed away Saturday, July 26, 2003. Mr. Dee, a stock keeper for an automotive company, was born in St. Louis, Missouri.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth M. Dee, and sister-in-law Shirley Payne. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Lucille J. Piepho
Lucille J. Piepho, 80, of Apache Junction passed away Thursday, July 31, 2003. Miss Piepho, an inspector for a factory, was born in Mankato, Minnestoa. She is survived by her sister Helen M. Piepho. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Gavin Nathaniel Tapley
Gavin Nathaniel Tapley, 3 months, of Apache Junction passed away Sunday, July 27, 2003. Master Tapley was born in Chandler, Arizona. He is survived by his parents Daniel K. Tapley and Kira L. Garfias, sister Tristan, brother Kirstan, grandparents Michael Tapley, Karla Silvernail and Edward Garfias, great grandmother Shirley Tapley and several aunts and uncles. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Charles Bledsoe, Jr.
Charles Bledsoe, Jr., passed away August 4, at his home in Apache Junction at the age of 83. Charles greatest loves were his family, fishing, hunting, and gardening. Charles was a retired sprinkler fitter, a proud 55 year member of Local 669. Survivors include his wife of 26 years Dorothy, sons Ken and Del, daughters Charleen Hayden and Debra Carter, 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
William "Bill" Joseph
William "Bill" Joseph, 74, passed away Monday, August 11, 2003 at his home in Apache Junction. Bill was born June 21, 1929 to Fredrick Patrick Jones and Leone Victoria Speldie in LaCrosse, Wisconsin where he was raised. He married Thelma (Mickey) McNamer on July 3, 1948.
Bill worked as a tower guard for fourteen years at the Florence State Prison until his retirement on July 1, 1991. Prior to that he was a radio announcer on various stations in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona. He also helped open a TV station in his hometown of LaCrosse, and worked there several years before moving to Arizona in July of 1965. He loved to entertain people by talking like Donald Duck and using his many other character voices. He rode white elephants through LaCrosse, advertising White Elephant Sales and sold refrigerators by walking downtown in an Eskimo outfit in July. Bill served in the U.S. Marines near the end of World War II which took him to China. He was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, baptized May 8, 1999, and was a very loving husband. In his illness he was the one to cheer you up and always had a smile on his face.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Thelma (Mickey), Aunt Lucy Harris of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Uncle Jerome Joseph of St. Paul, Minnesota, and many cousins and wonderful friends. Services were held August 16 with interment at Mountain View Memorial Gardens.
Sherry "Shirley" M. Kennedy
Sherry "Shirley" M. Kennedy, 71 of Apache Junction died Monday, August 4, following a long illness, Sherry was born February 8, 1942 in Hopewell, Virginia where she lived until she moved to Apache Junction in 1999. She attended Andrews University and Columbia Union College in Maryland where she studied voice, piano and nursing. She was well known here for her musical talent. Sherry attended the East Mesa Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Apache Junction Seventh Day Adventist Church at 1650 S. Ironwood where a memorial service will be held August 22, at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers Sherry had requested donations be sent to the Apache Junction Church Deaf Ministry Building Fund in her honor. She is survived by her son Thomas W. Kennedy, Jr. of Mesa, his wife and three children, and her daughter Jackquelyn Crech of Prince George, Virginia, her husband and 2 children. Following the memorial service her ashes will be returned to Hopewell, Virginia for interment.
Joan Winnette Merritt
Joan Winnette Merritt, 62, of Apache Junction, passed away Thursday, August 14, 2003. Mrs. Merritt, a homemaker, was born in Holloway, Ohio. Survivors include her husband Leon Merritt, daughters Patty Medina, Tanya Crawford, Dezra Gable, and Barbara Burke, sons David and Gary Merritt, parents Ed and Eunice Shoenberger, sister Roxanne Large, brothers Larry and Fred Wilson, several nieces and nephews, 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Janice L. Grover
Janice L. Grover, 75, of Apache Junction, passed away Sunday, August 17, 2003. Mrs. Grover, an accountant at a credit union, was born in Saginaw, Michigan. Survivors include her husband Raymond A. Grover, daughter Beth Butler, son Captain James Grover, Ret., sister Mary Ellen Pringle, brother James Shepherd, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Caitlyn Mackenzie Mills
Caitlyn Mackenzie Mills, 3, of Queen Creek, passed away Saturday, August 16, 2003. Miss Mills was born in Mesa, Arizona. Survivors include her parents Philip and Amanda Mills, and brother Nathan Alexander Mills. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Samantha Madison Mills
Samantha Madison Mills, 2, of Queen Creek, passed away Saturday, August 16, 2003. Miss Mills was born in Mesa, Arizona. Survivors include her parents Philip and Amanda Mills, and brother Nathan Alexander Mills. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Mary Josephine Alichwer
Mary Josephine Alichwer, 86, of Apache Junction, passed away Sunday, August 24, 2003. Mrs. Alichwer, a seamstress, was born in Dickson City, Pennsylvania. Survivors include her daughter Patricia Stevens, son Eugene Alichwer, 4 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Florence "Flo" Lane
Florence "Flo" Lane, 82, of Apache Junction, passed away Friday, August 22, 2003. Mrs. Lane, an administrative assistant for the New Jersey Probation Department, was born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Survivors include her daughter Susan A. Benson, son Francis O. Lane and his wife Debra, 3 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Walter C. Rash
Walter C. Rash, 71, of Apache Junction, passed away Friday, August 22, 2003. Mr. Rash, a 20 year veteran retired staff sergeant, was born in Brocksburg, Nebraska. Survivors include his daughter Deborah VanGuilder, 4 sisters, 5 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Lee Hoyer, 90, of Apache Junction passed away Saturday, August 30, 2003. Mr. Hoyer, a farmer in food production, was born in Warsaw, Missouri. He is survived by 2 daughters, 2 sons, 16 grandchildren, and 3 great- grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Lee Hoyer, 90, of Apache Junction passed away Saturday, August 30, 2003. Mr. Hoyer was born in Warsaw, Missouri, on March 13, 1913 and lived in Colorado from 1914 to 1985, at which time he and his wife moved to Arizona. He spent many years as a farmer/rancher and then went into the food industry.
He is survived by two daughters Ramona Filkin and Jean Hagedorn, two sons C. Howard and Larry Hoyer, 16 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements. He is also survived by a sister Lena Peek, and a brother Eugene. He was preceded in death by Wilma, his wife of 65 years and a son A.L, Jr. (Bud).
Mr. Hoyer's remains, along with those of his wife, will be taken to their hometown of Akron, Colorado for burial.
Robert Louis "Bob" Schneider
Robert Louis "Bob" Schneider, 71, of Newcastle and Apache Junction winter visitor, passed away Wednesday, August 27, 2003. Bob was born October 4, 1931 in Mt. Carmel, North Dakota to Anthony and Anna (Hoffman) Schneider. He was raised and educated in the Mt.Carmel area and worked on several different farms, until he enlisted in the Air Force in 1952. After Basic Training, he was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, South Dakota and for one year in French Morocco. He was discharged in 1956 as an A-1C.
He married Verna Conway in Belle Fourche, South Dakota on February 14, 1954. He moved to Belle Fourche and worked as a mechanic. In 1959 he went to work in the oil fields in Wyoming and later went to work as a mechanic for Dixon Brothers Trucking in Newcastle. He worked there for 30 years until his retirement in the fall of 1996. He and his wife traveled and spent winters in Apache Junction, Arizona, where they enjoyed rock hunting and the Gold Prospecting Club.
Survivors include his wife Verna Schneider of Newcastle, son Richard (Linda) Schneider of Scottsdale, daughter Linda "Lou" (John) Paul of Chandler, grandchildren Marijane Mitich, Michael Mitich, Jason Paul and Nicolas Paul, all of Chandler, brothers Delbert of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Harvey and Anthony both of Fargo, North Dakota, sisters Verna Marcotte of Grand Forks, North Dakota and Diane Hotten of Calvin, North Dakota, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and six brothers. Services were held at Worden Chapel in Newcastle. Worden Funeral Directors handled arrangements.
William Ferris, Sr.
William Ferris, Sr., 93, of Apache Junction, passed away Thursday, September 11, 2003. Mr. Ferris, a warehouseman in the Aerospace Industry, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, daughter Patricia Luebbers, sons William Jr. and James C. Ferris. Mountain View Mortuary handled arrangements.
Harriett Virginia Bennett
Harriett Virginia Bennett, 75, of Apache Junction, passed away Friday, September 12, 2003. Mrs. Bennett, a homemaker, was born in Cain, South Carolina. She is survived by two daughters, two sons, a sister and several grandchildren. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Frank Cassella 8/18/1959 - 8/30/2003. He is survived by his wife Michelle Cassella, two daughters Channan and Chelsee, two step-daughters Holland and Cheyenne, mother Carolyn Cassella, brother Tom Cassella all from the Apache Junction area, two sisters and two brothers out of state. In the past Mr. Cassella was employed by the City of Apache Junction in the Sign Department. No services or memorial are planned at this time.
Joanne C. Lane
Joanne C. Lane, 71, of Apache Junction, passed away Monday, September 15, 2003. Mrs. Lane, a bookkeeper, was born in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. She is survived by her husband Rudolph G. Lane, daughter Carla, sons Jerry and Bruce, seven grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Evan Walker Pilson
Evan Walker Pilson, 19, of Gold Canyon, passed away Saturday, September 13, 2003. Mr. Pilson, a student, was born in Santa Clara, California. He is survived by his parents Mike and Kimberly Pilson, sister Jessica Pilson, and brother Eric Pilson. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Charles Thomas Snyder
Charles Thomas Snyder, 59, of Apache Junction, passed away Thursday, September 11, 2003. Mr. Snyder, a painter, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a loving husband and father. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Jacqueline Michelle Weaver
Jacqueline Michelle Weaver, born September 11, 2003, died September 13, 2003 in Mesa, Arizona. She was a 1 pound and 2 ounces angel. Jackie was preceded in death by her great-grandparents Jack and Hollis Weaver, grandfather Dewey Weaver of Apache Junction, Arizona, and great-grandfather Ismael Munoz of Florida. She is survived by her parents Mike and Monica Weaver, brother Kevin, eight years old of Apache Junction, grandmother June Nickell of Ajo, Arizona, grandmother Nelly Munoz of Florida, grandfather Cesar Cruz of Columbia, uncles and aunts Juan Carlos and Debbie MacLean of Virginia, and David and Michele Weaver of Colorado, Mark and Esther Weaver of Gilbert, Buck Weaver of Indiana, Kay Hayes of Apache Junction, and several cousins. Mountain View Mortuary handled arrangements.
Kenneth Zinner of Apache Junction, passed away on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 at the age of 64. Ken was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 28, 1938 and moved to Apache Junction in 1977. Ken was a well respected commercial truck driver for over 45 years. Ken is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years, Sandralee, sons Ken, Brian and Scott, daughter-in-laws Raetta, Cindy, and Tiffany, 7 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Services were held at the Apache Junction Mortuary on Saturday, September 20, 2003. We will love and miss you always! You are forever in our hearts.
Kathleen Lyons, 51, of Apache Junction, died Tuesday, September 23, 2003. Ms. Lyons, a native of Dallas, Texas, is survived by her loving husband John, mother Agnes, sisters Norma Jean, Annie Bea, and Ellen, and brothers Tommy and David. A memorial service was held at Apache Junction Mortuary.
Judy Ann Copeland
Judy Ann Copeland, 78, of Apache Junction, passed away September 14, 2003. Mrs. Copeland is preceded in death by her sisters Lorraine Curtis and Leora Park. She is survived by her husband Hulen Dale Copeland, children Gary Liltz, Greg Overson, Ronald Wood, Dell Wood, Linda Wood, Carol Corbin, Jeffrey Copeland, Julie Copeland, Jeremy Copeland, Jeanne Dyer, Mark LaFountaine, Anna LaFountaine, Jimmy LaFountaine, Alex LaFountaine, Hulen D. Copeland Jr., Emery M. Copeland II, and Joseph L. Wilson, brother Jack Parr, sister Phyllis Swain, 33 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Arizona Cremation & Funeral Services handled arrangements.
Bradley Scott Dilbeck
Bradley Scott Dilbeck, age 27, passed away tragically on Friday September 18, 2003 in Mesa, Arizona. Born September 10, 1976 in Decatur, Illinois to Lyndell Earl & Diane Marie (Harris) Dilbeck, Brad moved to Arizona 20 years ago and has been working for Chapman BMW in Phoenix as a service technician for six months.
Brad is best known for his love of music and living life to the fullest at 150%. His hobbies included stock car racing, motorcycles and music. Brad married Heidi Sullivan on September 20, 1997 and his ultimate joy came on September 3, 2003 when Heidi gave birth to their beautiful daughter Elyse Marie.
Brad is survived by his loving wife of 6 years, Heidi Dilbeck, daughter Elyse Marie Dilbeck, parents Lyndell & Diane Dilbeck, brother Jeffrey Dilbeck, grandparents Marilyn Harris and Margaret Dilbeck, as well as many cherished aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Contributions may be made to the Heidi & Elyse Dilbeck Memorial Fund for Elyse's College Fund at any Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. Mariposa Gardens Funeral Care handled arrangements.
Ida Mele, 86, of Apache Junction, passed away September 27, 2003. Mrs. Mele, a homemaker, was born in New York, New York. She is preceded in death by her husband. Mrs. Mele is survived by a son Salvatore, two sisters, and one brother. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Christopher Lowell, 68, of Apache Junction, passed away Saturday, October 11, 2003. Mr. Lowell, a retired consultant for the United States Government, was born in Cambridge Vermont. He is survived by his daughters Cheryl and Cindy. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.
Debra (Debbie) Ann Schares
Debra (Debbie) Ann Schares passed away October 15, 2003. She is survived by her husband James, three sons Jeremiah, Ray Thomas and Andrew, parents Thomas and Barbara Boggs, sisters Robin Lies of Albert, Kansas and Kim Darter of Newton, Kansas. She is preceded in death by a brother Thomas Stephen and grandparents John and Esther Boggs and Lum and Carrie Brown.
Debra and her husband had been married for 16 years. She was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa on September 9, 1955 and grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, moving to Apache Junction five years ago. She worked at the Apache Junction Elks # 2349, Apache Junction Healthcare and was a caregiver until the time of her illness. Burial will be in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Donations can be sent to 1432 E. Knoll Circle, Apt #1, Mesa, AZ 85203.
Dorothy Marie Thayne
Dorothy Marie Thayne, 74, of Apache Junction, passed away Tuesday, October 7, 2003. Mrs. Thayne, a hairdresser, was born in Dallas, Texas. She is survived by her husband Alma Thayne. Apache Junction Mortuary handled arrangements.